Father-child relationships can be testing at the best of times, but what happens when migration adds a whole new dimension to it? Greek-Australian writers Konstandina Dounis, Dmetri Kakmi, Dean Kalimniou and Helen Nickas discuss their funny and sad stories published in the new anthology Fathers from the Edge.
The four panelists are a diverse mix of writers, two born overseas and two in Australia of Greek parents, with equally diverse experiences. But what binds them together is the common thread of living within, or between, two cultures and two languages, and having to grapple with the realities of living ‘on the edge’. They will share with each other, and the audience, how their own bitter-sweet experience with their fathers has shaped their lives through the various stages of assimilation, integration and multiculturalism in Australia.
Despite the sadness and regret, or the ironic humour expressed in their stories, telling and discussing this important topic should prove a cathartic experience for both the writers and the audience. As with ancient Greek tragedy, and right up to our times, through the telling of adversity and great loss, comes catharsis. And since Australia has been a country of many waves of immigrants, their stories will keep on adding to the grand narrative of the history of this country.
Fathers from the Edge is a companion book to Mothers from the Edge (an anthology about the relationship between mothers and daughters within the Greek-Australian migrant experience).
Fathers from the Edge now comes to complement what began as an exploration of family relationships and the effect on them by the migrant experience. It includes a collection of narratives that examines the complex relationships between Greek-Australian writers (men and women) and their fathers. These 24 stories are aimed not just at the Greek-Australian reader, but anyone who is interested in how people, who live between cultures, untangle the complexities of dual lives and pave the way for understanding and compassion.
George Alexander, Claire Catacouzinos, John Charalambous, Anna Couani,
Konstandina Dounis, Eleni Elefterias-Kostakidis, Zeny Giles, Dimitri Gonis,
Tina Haralambakis, Efi Hatzimanolis, Hariklia Heristanidis, Dmetri Kakmi,
Dean Kalimniou, Vrasidas Karalis, Victoria Kyriakopoulos, Emilios Kyrou,
Peter Lyssiotis, Despina Michael, Martha Mylona, Olympia Panagiotopoulos,
Melissa Petrakis, Tom Petsinis, N.N. Trakakis, Eleni Frangouli-Nickas